Support the Café

Search our Site

Back to the future of the church

Back to the future of the church

This weekend the Taizé Community will hold a conference in the U.S., and several thousand people — particularly young adults — are expected to meet for prayer and song at DePaul University in Chicago.

RNS via the Washington Post:

Taizé (pronounced tie-zay) has long generated attention for its ability to attract followers from both Catholic and Protestant traditions, but now people are asking how the group is so successful in attracting young Christians who, according to surveys, are leaving the church in droves.

Some mainline Protestant leaders who’ve been exposed to Taizé say the movement could help reverse decades of falling membership and attrition. United Methodist Pastor Mark Ulrickson from Southern California likes the way the monks integrate spirituality with action, and he says this would keep young people rooted to church.

“(Taizé) doesn’t start with, ‘Here’s what you have to believe,’” said Ulrickson. “It starts with, ‘We’re brothers and sisters in this person of Christ and we come together to be in prayer together to discover each other and what gifts we have.’”

Chris Soukup was on the verge of leaving the Episcopal Church as a 19-year-old freshman at South Dakota State University. He had grown tired of years of going to church just because his parents said so. When he was asked to take a job as a counselor at a church camp, he had his reservations, but decided to give it a try.

Soukup was moved by the Taizé-style camp that was led by a visiting brother from France. Three weeks of singing simple phrases over and over, extolling God as the light out of darkness, and quiet time to pray and meditate on passages that exemplify living the life of the gospel captivated Soukup’s soul.

“It’s a really relaxing style of worship that you don’t get with a lot of the denominations … where they’re focused on more of a sermon style or a praise-and-worship kind of thing,” Soukup said. “The silence is really the biggest thing for me where you just have time to reflect.”


Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

1 Comment
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

A couple corrections of the article: it’s pronounced teh-ZAY not tie-zay. It is not a movement but an ecumenical community. They really stress that difference, because they are not trying to set up more taizé communities or churches around the world. They are trying to reconcile the world and rejuvenate the church by re-building trust.

The students who went to the Province V gathering for campus ministries this past February had the opportunity to meet and worship with Brother Emile and Brother John in Chicago. It was incredible. I think this represents an important step forward for the Church as a whole.

Gregory Stark

Support the Café
Past Posts

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café